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Humans of the Hilltop: Amy Scott

Amy Scott, associate professor and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program, came to campus 12 years ago. Since then, Scott has had the chance to increase both her own involvement in activism events on campus as well as that of Bradley students.

According to Scott, her role in the program was unexpected, but also very gratifying.

“I never really imagined myself as a Women’s and Gender Studies director, but it has given me the opportunity to be an intellectual and to engage with activism,” Scott said. “You get to interact with students who want to access that theory [of activism] and figure out ‘How does this help me make change in the world?’ That’s why it’s so fun [to be a part of the program]. I like the energy of the students that have that activist mindset, and really it’s the energy of the students that drive the program.”

In addition to her work with the program, Scott is busy outside of Bradley with a variety of research plans.

“I’ve got a few projects going,” Scott said. “I’m working on two books … [One is] a history of lifestyle liberalism in Boulder, Colorado. On my sabbatical, I started a project on the history of urban farming. I’m looking at the different social philosophies that caused people to want to farm, [and more specifically], how people in rust-belt cities are using farming in cities to address the question of food scarcity.”

Being one of the people responsible for hiring Scott, history Chairperson and Associate Professor Brad Brown said the 12 years he’s worked with Scott have been extremely enjoyable.

“Amy Scott is an example of a scholar-teacher, which is the Bradley ideal,” Brown said. “[She] is exceptionally easy to work with, she anticipates problems, takes personal responsibility for solving them and she has a great sense of humor.”

Brown said Scott has not only been a great coworker, but also an extraordinary researcher as well.

“I have immense respect for Dr. Scott’s research agenda,” Brown said. “Her work on understanding the city of Boulder in the post-war period [and] her recent article ‘Suburbs, Cities, the Sunbelt, and Rural America’ on changes in city and suburban life during the Eisenhower administration was written exceptionally well.”

According to Brown, Scott makes a visible commitment to her students through the work she does outside of the classroom.

“The thing I admire most about Dr. Scott is the enthusiasm she brings to the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program [position],” Brown said. “Professors get more credit for publications than they do for service to students, so when you have someone like professor Scott who goes out of her way to put students first, it is an incredible testimony to her character.”

Scott said her goal for the program, although still in the early stages, is to bring a Women’s and Gender Studies major to Bradley’s campus, if the demand for it continues on campus.

“It’s been an idea to offer Women Gender Studies as a major,” Scott said. “It [will] depend on whether or not the university administration, and the faculty senate and other departments will support that idea. So, we have to collaborate and get cooperation and support for creating that major. And we have had a lot of support traditionally at Bradley [for the Women Gender Studies program].”

Associate professor in management and leadership Jennifer Robin has worked closely with Scott in the Women’s and Gender Studies program. She said Scott is a valuable asset to Bradley as well as the program.

“Bradley is very lucky to have [Scott] as a professor. [She] cares about her students and is interdisciplinary in her focus,” Robin said. “I think [Women’s and Gender Studies] is certainly applicable to any field you go into. It can certainly be beneficial to be exposed to the content, but also the ways of analyzing information that come with it.”

In addition to professors, students also hold high praise to Scott’s character. Of those is senior sports communication major Desteny Castaneda, who said Scott has given her general guidance throughout her college career.

“Dr. Scott has been one of the few professors that [has] helped me pave my way through my years at Bradley,” Castaneda said. “She offered me a helping hand in life and in my educational career. If I needed someone to express something outside of class work, she would make the extra time and listen to me.”

According to communications major Annie Schuver, Scott is always there to help students learn, even if it means helping with research for a different class.

“Dr. Scott is very centered around helping students and contributing to the Bradley community,” Schuver said. “She definitely invests a lot of her time beyond the classroom, obviously in [directing] the Women’s Gender Studies program, but also by guiding students in career decisions and giving us advice on how to do research. The current project I’m working on with the help of her and another professor is my research project, so she’s been giving me feedback and helping along with my [work].”

Schuver said Scott clearly shows an interest in the futures of her students.

“After class earlier today, we had a discussion about my future career plans, and she gave me a lot of solid advice reflecting on her own decisions and [information from] her expertise,” Schuver said. “It really helped having her stay after class, we were probably there for 40 minutes after everybody else left. She was just talking to me about my career decisions. She’s been a big mentor for me throughout my years here.”

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